Norway’s defense minister said her country has a "real interest" in taking part in EU defense projects, despite not being a member of the union.
Norway's Minister of Defense Kristin Krohn Devold told Norwegian broadcaster NRK Monday that Oslo would be keen to take part in the creation of EU battle groups, one of the EU's key military goals. "We are very fortunate to have a number of niche capabilities, which are in strong demand, and I'm sure that these capabilities will probably interest the EU," she said. The project, which is due to be operational by 2007, will see the creation of six or seven groups of 1,500 soldiers trained to fight in different environments and situations. Norway has twice voted against joining the European Union but regularly aligns itself with EU statements and contributes to the EU budget. (EUobserver.com)